A – Association – Building up positive associations while learning mantrailing is the key to all of it. The association that the misper has run off with their food or a toy. The association between the scent article and the trail to find the misper. These positive associations keep the dog coming back for more.
B – Bond building - Doing mantrailing will build a stronger bond between you and your dog, as you learn to put your trust into them. We allow them to take the driver’s seat and build confidence as they learn about the game.
C – Cues – We use different cues to get the dog into ‘mantrailing mode’. The command to take scent or our trail command. We also use the harness as a cue that we are going to be mantrailing by putting it on, and that we have finished by taking it off.
D – Dog – The most important part of mantrailing is your dog, they should always be having fun and learning a new game as they go. Any dog can join in with mantrailing regardless of temperament, age, breed, previous training and disability.
E – End of Trail – This is where the reward needs to be so the dogs stay motivated to keep on following trails in the future. We have a party with our dog here so they build a positive association with the game. It should never be a finish where the dog is disheartened, the dog should always be wanting more at the end of it.
F – Foundations – Building in your foundations from the start is incredibly important. Rushing to push your dog too fast will result in mistakes and frustration from the dog who doesn’t get the game. Foundations mean short trails, intensity starts and lots of repetition. Not rushing to get to the next stage all the time.
G – Game – Mantrailing is just a game to the dog, even if you trail operationally they don’t understand the difference between a training session and a real life session. We make all the training as part of Mantrailing UK a fun game for you and your dog to bond over.
H – Harness – The harness needs to be well fitted and not impede the dog’s movement while trailing. We encourage the use of Y front harnesses that don’t impact shoulder movement. The size and design of harness needed will totally depend on your dog, and there is no one size fits all. Mantrailing UK recommend the specifically designed harnesses from Niggeloh.
I – Intensity Trails – These are one of the most important parts of mantrailing as it is the start of your trailing journey and it is the reason the dogs get hooked on the sport so quickly. These are short, fast trails where the dogs get a quick reward for a small amount of work. They make the longer trails worth it. These are used at the start of trails when you first introduce your dog to the sport and are used at the end of every trail to build an intensity for the reward.